If you’ve tried my homemade taco seasoning, homemade granola bars, homemade breakfast sausage, homemade seasoned salt, homemade hamburger helper, homemade egg noodles, or homemade ranch dressing, then you know how rewarding it is to make foods that are typically store bought, at home – including ground Italian sausage. Like the others, the homemade version of Italian sausage is a cinch to make and requires just ground pork and pantry staples. As the saying goes, nobody wants to see how sausage is made…except for my homemade version. Seriously, it is so easy and SO, SO GOOD!! I can’t wait for you to try it.
Now, since I have three little kids, this recipe is for mild aka sweet Italian sausage, though if you want a spicy version you can simply add red chili pepper flakes to your desire.
What to Make with Italian Sausage:
You can use homemade ground Italian sausage in literally any recipe that calls for it. Here are some tasty ideas to get you started:
- 20 Minute Italian Rice Ball Skillet >
- Italian Sausage and Peppers Cheeseburgers >
- Italian Sausage and Pepper Ring Mini Meatloaves >
- Cheesy Vegetable, Turkey and Sausage Rice Casserole >
- Italian Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Soup >
- 20 Minute Sausage, Brussels Sprouts and Parmesan Pasta >
- Sausage, Sweet Potato Noodles and Broccoli Skillet >
- Italian Tomato-Basil Stuffed Zucchini >
Right now, at this very moment, I’m craving an Italian-style pizza: browned Italian sausage, red sauce, mozzarella cheese, and seared peppers and onions. DROOLING!! What will you make first?
How to Make This Recipe:
Start with common dried herbs and spices. You’ll need 2 teaspoons dried parsley, 1 teaspoon each sugar and coarse ground fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon each salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. If you want spicy sausage, add red chili pepper flakes to your liking.
I used my Curtis Stone mortar and pestle (procured during the most EMBARRASSING 20 MINUTES OF MY LIFE – HAHAHA!!!) to grind the fennel seeds. You’ll want them coarsely ground vs a fine powder. You could also use a coffee grinder, though again, be sure not to grind them too fine.
Add the herbs and spices to a large bowl with 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar then whisk or stir with a fork to combine.
Add the spice mix to 1lb ground pork then use your hands to combine. Avoid over mixing.
The sausage is technically ready to use immediately though the flavor is best if it sits in the refrigerator overnight. You could also freeze it at this point.
Secrets to Cooking Ground Italian Sausage:
My secret to juicy cooked Italian sausage is three-fold:
- Cook the sausage in a large, cast iron skillet (I like this one,) over medium-high heat.
- Don’t disturb the meat too much while its browning – this will prevent the yummy golden-brown crust from forming.
- Don’t overcook the sausage which will cause it to dry out.
That’s all she wrote! I hope you love this homemade version of store bought Italian sausage! Let me know what you think, and enjoy! :)
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Homemade Italian Sausage
Homemade Italian Sausage is a cinch to make at home and best of all, YOU control the ingredients. Use ground Italian Sausage in a variety of recipes.
- 1lb ground pork
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground fennel seed (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- red chili pepper flakes if desired for spicy sausage
- Add all ingredients except ground pork into a large bowl then whisk or stir with a fork to combine. Crumble ground pork on top then use hands to thoroughly combine, though do not over mix. For the best flavor, refrigerate sausage in an airtight container overnight before using.
- Grind fennel seeds using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. You don't want a fine powder, rather, a coarse grind.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.